Mother Nature Threatens Elementary School’s Gardening Project

Thursday, April 5th 2007, 5:45 pm
By: News On 6

A spring time cold snap is threatening a gardening project at Tulsa’s Alcott Elementary. The garden, which the students planted last fall, was created with help from a Vision 2025 grant. The News On 6’s Rick Wells reports with freezing temperatures on the way, the students are now learning to protect their garden from the cold.

The News On 6 first met the Alcott gardeners back in September. The students and volunteers cleared a space for a garden behind the school, they tilled and toiled raking out grass and picking up rocks. It was a lot of work for the kids, but now there are rows and rows of raised beds, planted with onions, greens, strawberries and tomatoes all coming up and doing well.

"Out in the garden you have tomatoes and they are used to living in a warm climate," said Sue Gray OSU Extension Service Horticulturist.

Gray is briefing Sherall Haygood's 3rd graders on how to help the plants survive the coming freeze. The tenderest plants need to be covered she said, and she showed the students some techniques to cover those plants, including something called a wall of water. It uses water as freeze protection.

"The water hold more heat than air,” said Alcott 3rd grader Precious Robinson.

The Fizzo Water folks are also helping out. They donated some jugs that the students will cut the bottoms off so they can be used as plant covers, which can be removed during the day.

Jennifer Holder, the Alcott Science Specialist, says they've been able to incorporate practical uses for math in the gardening project too.

"Who wants to just sit and add and multiply? It makes much more sense to come out here and explain the multiplication and addition process," she said.

So knowledge is growing along with the strawberries.

The school is planning a celebration before school is out to show the project off to the community.

Related Story:

9/28/2006 Alcott Elementary Teaching Garden